Black History Month offers social, scholarly, arts events

bhm-banner-web

A full month of events is planned for February at BGSU in commemoration of Black History Month. In addition to nearly daily student-oriented activities, the University invites the community to participate in numerous events related to culture, history and social issues.

BGSU will participate in the Feb. 9 meeting of Not In Our Town, the joint BGSU-city of Bowling Green initiative to reject violence and intolerance and promote diversity and inclusion. The meeting will be held from 5-7 p.m. in the Wood County District Public Library Community Room, 251 N. Main St.

The BGSU Theatre and Film department will present “The Winter Barrel,” written and directed by faculty member Dr. Eileen Cherry-Chandler. The Readers Theatre production features three related short stories about the moral dilemmas facing young black girls growing up in a violent urban America. The performance is free and begins at 8 p.m. Feb. 9 in the Conrad Choral Room at the Wolfe Center for the Arts.

A series of films throughout the month will explore aspects of black life and history. All screenings are free and begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater in Hanna Hall.

  • On Feb. 7, “Pariah,” an award-winning 2011 film directed by Dee Dee Rees, one of America’s black LGBT pioneers, follows the journey of an aspiring high school poet. Bincy Abdul Samad, an American cultural studies doctoral student, will provide an introduction.
  • On Feb. 14, “Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One,” a 1968 film led by visionary director William Greaves, documents a key moment in American history as well as in independent cinema. Film faculty member Dr. Daniel Williams will give the introduction.
  • Feb. 21 brings the documentary “Ralph Bunche: An American Odyssey,” also directed by Greaves and with an introduction by Williams. Narrated by Sidney Poitier, the film honors the life of the American statesman who was the first person of color to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • The final event, on Feb. 28, is “Poetic Documentaries,’ with screenings of “From These Roots” and “The First World Festival of Negro Arts” plus a question-and-answer session with filmmaker Louise Archambault, curator of William Greaves Productions. Recipient of 22 international awards, “From These Roots” explores the extraordinary artistic, cultural and political flowering that took place in Harlem during the “Roaring ’20s.” This portrait of the Harlem Renaissance is created entirely with period photographs and music especially composed and performed by Eubie Blake. “The First World Festival of Negro Arts,” directed by Greaves, is the official documentary of the seminal event held in Dakar, Senegal, in 1966 that was participated in by more than 2,000 writers, artists and performers from Africa and its diaspora. It features performances and interviews with Duke Ellington, Langston Hughes, Alvin Ailey, Aime Cesaire, Leopold Senghor and artists, performers and dignitaries from 30 countries.

The College of Musical Arts will host a lecture titled “Breaking Barriers: Pioneering African-American Singers in Opera,” presented by baritone Dean Southern, voice faculty member at the Cleveland Institute of Music. His free talk will begin at 8 p.m. Feb. 17 in Bryan Recital Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center.

On Feb. 24, the 19th annual Africana Studies Student Research Conference will unite graduate and undergraduate students from BGSU and other universities to share their work on African and African diaspora topics. The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in 101 Olscamp Hall and includes a noon luncheon with keynote speaker Dr. Michael Harris, a BGSU alumnus. An associate professor of art history in the Department of African American Studies at Emory University, Harris is a practicing artist and award-winning author. For more information on the conference, email Dr. Rebecca Green, art history, at rlgreen@bgsu.edu.

Look online for updates and additional information on Black History Month.